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Lake Ellsworth drilling waits for another day

Credit to The Guardian for the great graphic (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/15/antarctic-mission-sub-glacial-lake)

News from the Lake Ellsworth team in Antarctica that drilling down to the subglacial lake will have to wait for another year.

It must be a huge disappointment to the team, but as an observer currently in the relative warmth of London, it the project remains a massive inspiration. Projects like this show that geographical exploration is alive and well and focused on understanding and learning about our planet.

There are many polar expeditions nowadays – fastest, least supported, etc. – but this expedition was more than these. It showed the determination, initiative and daring of a team of people to try something on the edge of human ability, not for the sake of it, but to find out more about our planet. All power to them and I am sure that they will succeed in the end.

To put this mission in perspective, the first expedition to attempt to summit Mount Everest was in 1922, and the first successful expedition to reach the summit and come back down again was in 1953. I hope we will not have to wait another 31 years, but the very fact that there are people who put everything on the line to explore our planet is fantastic.

To the team at Lake Ellsworth, a massive ‘thank you’ for providing an example to the rest of us.

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